Friday, March 23
Co-hosted with Mathematics & Politics Departments
Moon Duchin is an associate professor of Mathematics, a senior fellow in the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, and the director of the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at Tufts University. Her pure math work is in geometry, topology, groups, and dynamics. Her work in applied pure math is focused on redistricting: she is currently collaborating with civil rights organizers, coders, political scientists, lawyers, geographers, and philosophers on a large-scale project to detect and address gerrymandering. She recently served as a consulting expert for Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania in the court-ordered scramble to remake PA’s congressional map.
The courts have struggled for decades to decide when a districting plan is excessively skewed. New technical methods—comparing a plan to an ensemble drawn from the space of all possible maps—might provide the needed breakthrough, and have had an excellent track record in courts in the last year. I’ll survey the recent developments and turn an eye on Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.